Call Me, Maybe? Now You Can from an Emirates A380
Now you can talk for as long as your cell phone battery will allow on your next long-haul flight with Emirates. The airline just announced the technology to allow passengers to use their mobile phone to make and receive calls while 38,000 feet up in their A380s. This is just another notch in the belt for the airline after being the first to offer passengers satellite phones in 1993. Remember those?
The first super jumbo equipped with the technology took off last week with at least one passenger using the service to call home on a flight from Dubai to Munich. It seems like all went well because the technology will be offered on all A380 jets the airline takes delivery of and they'll even retrofit the remaining 24 aircraft. Best of all, typical roaming charges apply and there's no additional charge if your provider has an agreement with OnAir or AeroMobile, the providers of the service.
We have a feeling that the phone bill will be a shocker enough.
Emirates adds their name to a list of airlines that permit passengers to chew the fat with their friends on the ground, but they are the first to do it on the superjumbo. Virgin Atlantic, Etihad, Oman Air, TAM and Azerbaijan's AZAL already allow the service, while Garuda Indonesia is planning on launching the service later this year.
Some of you might be happy at the prospect of staying connected while flying and some may be be downright annoyed at the possibility of listening to your seat mate drone on and on about their personal life. Rest assured, the technology is not that close to the US since the FAA is not even thinking about allowing voice calls on planes. For now, just keep the phone calls limited to when your on the ground.